Any sports parent would agree that there’s nothing more thrilling than being able to watch your kid compete. You want nothing but the best for your child as they participate in an activity they love. This passion and excitement, however, can sometimes get the best of parents. Unfortunately, there are plenty of horror stories from coaches, players, and other parents, about parents who take things a bit too far.
Some sports parents go to great lengths when “supporting” their kids in volleyball. From pressuring their kids to be great and yelling at the coaches and refs to getting kicked out of the game and embarrassing their children, this type of behavior causes all types of problems. To avoid getting a bad rep as the “psycho mom or dad”, try these things to show your support for your child and their volleyball team:
Communicate with Your Child’s Coach
Communication can be an effective tool in supporting your little volleyball player. Find the time in your schedule to pull the coach aside and talk with them about what they need from parents to support the team. Asking the coach’s opinion first ensures that you don’t overstep and that you’re providing the type of support the volleyball team needs. You can also volunteer to help during matches or tournaments whether it’s getting the players to the event, passing out waters and hand towels, or providing the team with meals.
Respect the Coach’s Decisions
It can be pretty nerve-wracking to see your child sitting on the sidelines or having the coach pull them out in the middle of a match, but the coach knows best. Whatever calls the coach puts into play need to be respected by the parents and volleyball team. Shouting at the coach or trying to give the coach “pointers” and “advice” on how to run their team only causes chaos.
Help Your Child Develop Their Skills
There are instances where team practices aren’t enough for players to really hone in on their skills. One-on-one training can help them to realize their strengths and work on their weaknesses. If your child or coach expresses the need to work on their volleyball skills, consider looking into opportunities to help them evolve. Whether you hit the courts and help them yourself, ask the coach if they have special hours for one-on-one sessions, or look for a sports trainer, supporting your child in this way can greatly boost their confidence and skills on the volleyball court.
Develop Creative Ways to Raise Funds
From uniforms and sports equipment to transportation and tournament costs, volleyball teams require a lot of money to manage. As many school districts and community teams are limited in the resources they can provide to sports teams, you can do your part to support by raising funds for the team. You can set up a 10 X 15 canopy tent and sell hot dogs and hamburgers before or after the games, host a bake sale, sell sweets, or organize a car wash to get the community to support the teams.
Support Other Parents
You can set a good example for your child by being a source of support to other volleyball parents. Whether it’s starting a carpool for practices, driving parents to matches and tournaments, or simply cheering on the entire team during games, it can show your children the importance of teamwork and collaboration and develop a sense of unity among the players.
Celebrate in Good Times and in Bad
While your child’s volleyball team may be great, chances are they won’t win every match or tournament. If you want to be a supportive parent, it is important to celebrate the good times and bad ones. Whether your child wins or loses, giving them words of encouragement, pointing out good plays during the match, or even applauding the team on their efforts can go a long way to boosting morale and embedding true sportsmanship in your child.
Be Present at Games
There is no better confidence booster for volleyball players than hearing the voices of their friends and family cheering them on in the background. While life can get hectic at times, do the best you can to be present at all matches and tournaments. If you cannot make it, ask a relative or close friend to fill in for you so that your child and the team always has someone in the stands rooting for them.
Parents have a crucial role in their child’s volleyball experience. Taking things too far does more than give you a bad rep, it also lowers your child’s self-esteem, frustrates the coach, isolates you from the other parents, and ruins things for the entire team. If you want to show your love and support for your volleyball star, simply stick to positive avenues like those discussed above.